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Domestic abuse knows no boundaries

Spot the signs of Domestic Abuse

by Comms Team

The Knowsley Community Safety Partnership is reminding residents to know and look out for the signs of domestic abuse – with the clear message that victims and indeed those who perpetrate the crime might not be who you expect.

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, or violent behaviour by a partner, ex-partner, family member or carer. Although the majority of domestic abuse cases are experienced by women and perpetrated by men, this is not always the case.

Similarly, the people who perpetrate domestic abuse or are victims of it can come from all walks of life and be any age or gender.

Within Knowsley there are specialist teams trained to support victim/survivors of domestic abuse, offering one-on-one support to enable them to live safely in their own homes, or another location. There is also support available to people whose own behaviour is causing an issue. There is confidential support available no matter what your circumstances may be and lots of organisations and groups that can help you or those around you.

The signs of Domestic Abuse: spot the red flags
Some people may think Domestic Abuse is committing violence; however, it can also be controlling, coercive and threatening behaviour.

Coercive control includes behaviour like threats, humiliation and intimidation that is used to punish or frighten the victim/survivor. Actions such as controlling money, always criticising and being purposely isolated from friends and family, controlling where the person goes, what they do, or exaggerated expressions of love such as they ‘can’t live without you’.

Knowsley Council’s specialist domestic abuse team find coercive control is at the core of a lot of cases of domestic abuse. They have found that perpetrators use coercive and controlling behaviours to gain all the privileges, freedoms, power and rights in the relationship, while leaving the victim with none. They want the victim’s life to become all about pleasing the perpetrator and doing what the perpetrator wants.

Are you in a controlling relationship?

If you’re not sure if you are experiencing domestic abuse, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can you wear what you want?
  2. Can you be friends with who you like?
  3. Can see your family/friends whenever you want?
  4. Can you say ‘no’ to his/her requests – with no consequences?
  5. Can you laugh at him/her and can he laugh at him/herself?
  6. Can you change your mind/plans at the last minute with no consequences?
  7. Is your opinion valued and respected?
  8. Are you encouraged to fulfil your potential in a positive way?
  9. Are you encouraged and supported to work or study?
  10. Has your night out ever been ruined by his/her actions, comments or behaviour before or during the night out?
  11. Does he/she talk about other women/men he/she “could have” or imply it – making you feel insecure or lucky to have him/her?
  12. Does he/she sulk for a day or more?
  13. Has he/she told you he/she had an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend who hurt him/her so badly it’s hard for him to trust any woman/man?
  14. Does he/she ever refer to his ex-girlfriend/s/boyfriends as ‘his/her psycho ex’?
  15. Did he/she not do well at school because of his parents or teachers?
  16. Does he/she believe everyone is against him/her?
  17. Does he/she see himself/herself as a victim?
  18. Is everything always someone else’s fault?
  19. Is he/she only happy if you are ‘good’?
  20. Do you feel responsible for his/her moods or happiness?
  21. Does he/she call you names or put you down (in public or private)?
  22. Do you pay for everything?

If you answered mostly ‘No’ for 1 – 9 and ‘Yes’ for 10 – 22 perhaps you are experiencing domestic abuse.

Is someone you know experiencing abuse?

Signs to look out for include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Being withdrawn
  • Having bruises
  • Having finances controlled by someone else
  • Not being allowed to leave the house
  • Having technology or social media use monitored by someone else.

Where to go for help:

If you, your child, or anyone in the family are at immediate risk of harm, you should contact the police urgently, call 999. If you are not at immediate risk but are concerned, please contact one of the services listed below:

Knowsley Council Safer Communities Domestic Abuse Service
Tel: 0151 443 2610*
Email: safercommunities@knowsley.gov.uk
*Please note the team are only available during office hours.

The First Step (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 548 3333
Website: www.thefirststep.org.uk

Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
Tel: 0151 443 2600

Further support is also offered by these national agencies:

victimcaremerseyside.org  (directory of services)
Women’s Aid | womensaid.org.uk | www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Worst Kept Secret Helpline:  0800 028 3398
Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
RASASC – Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre – National phone line 0330 363 0063
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123

Perpetrator Support

Knowsley Council Safer Communities Domestic Abuse Service
Tel: 0151 443 2610*
Email: safercommunities@knowsley.gov.uk
*Please note the team are only available during office hours.

Respect Phoneline
Visit: https://respectphoneline.org.uk/
Freephone: 0808 8024040